March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month. All throughout March, you’ll have the opportunity to learn an abundance of facts about this disorder, what you can do, and where to find help for those who need it.
Defining Problem Gambling
Problem gambling can be defined as any time gambling causes problems in your life. Gambling disorder is defined as “repeated problematic gambling behavior that causes significant problems or distress.” Every day, millions of Americans struggle with problem gambling and can negatively affect many of the closest people to them. But, just like any disorder, there is help and there is hope for those affected by problem gambling.
The Importance of Problem Gambling Awareness Month
Problem Gambling Awareness Month offers the opportunity for those struggling with problem gambling, and the loved ones who are experiencing the effects of someone’s gambling, to reach out and talk. It’s a time to talk about this disorder and how it can happen to anyone. It’s a time to come out of the dark and realize that gambling disorder is a brain disease, and, like all diseases, it can be managed and helped. It is a time to have discussions with your family, friends, and community about the importance of learning about problem gambling and helping to get help for those in need.
How Problem Gambling Awareness Month 2018 Stands Out
This year, in New York, Problem Gambling Awareness Month will focus on problem gambling and comorbidity with other mental health disorders, including suicide. Often, problem gambling does not exist as a standalone disorder, but, rather, goes hand-in-hand while a person suffers with other mental health disorders.
Did you know that two-thirds of gamblers report that their mental health suffered as a result of their gambling, and over 90% of those affected by someone else’s gambling behavior reported emotional distress? (Nash et al, 2018)
What You Can Do to Help Spread the Word about Problem Gambling Awareness Month
During the month of March, you can expect an explosion of information, data, and resources available through different media outlets and providers. Pay attention to our Facebook and Twitter pages as we plan to reach as many people as possible by posting and sharing content to continue to raise awareness of problem gambling and get help for those adversely affected by problem gambling.
Here’s how you can help:
- Have conversations with anyone and everyone about problem gambling;
- Share information about problem gambling and available help;
- Share resources in print and online media form;
- Like/friend us on Facebook and Twitter;
- Subscribe to the NYCPG mailing list to receive weekly information blasts and other resources;
- Share social media content (#HaveTheConvo), emails, and any other information that you come across;
- Help those struggling by reaching out to NYS HOPEline at 1-877-8-HOPENY (or 1-877-846-7369).
Thank you for participating in the 2018 Problem Gambling Awareness Month. Your participation shows that you care, and will offer those who are afraid to have the conversation an outlet to speak out, learn more, and continue to share information about problem gambling.
We’ll see you next week with more Problem Gambling Awareness Month updates!